True Facts About the KSD Budget Survey

The KSD budget survey is open to all staff and parents in the community. The survey is online and can be accessed through the KSD website. From several categories, a total of 60 points worth of cuts are to be selected.

There are a few things to note:

1)    KSD says, “… the district incurred increased costs resulting from bargaining that took place in the fall of 2009.” However, even after the bargain, the district’s general fund balance increased by about $1.4 mill.

2)   If your total is less than 60, your survey input will not be accepted by the system.  

3)   You can’t get to 60 points without choosing one of the selections in section one (reductions at the elementary level)

4)   There are four “revenue” increases; two of them increase the fee for staff development (money out of your pocket) and the others are for “pay to play” initiatives (money out of parents’ pocket).

5)   The introduction to the survey states that some items from last year were not listed because of the contract bargained last fall. In reality, many of the items listed last year had to be bargained anyway with several of the unions (teachers, paras, bus drivers, custodians, office personnel) and should not have been listed in the first place.

6)   The choices and impact statements were selected and written by KSD cabinet members.

Personnel costs are the largest part of the district’s budget. It should be! KSD staff serves students everyday whether in the classroom, the school office, lunchroom, playground or on the bus. The focus should be on how to best support and serve the needs of students. It’s a difficult job now, and would only get worse with a reduction in staff at any level.

 For now, I urge you to complete the survey and add comments at the end. Tell the school board how you view this survey. Tell them how the cuts will affect your students, classroom and you. Let them know that the budget is not just numbers, but students and people. You know that some cost areas and/or programs were not listed, ask them why. Plan to attend the open meeting on April 12, 6 – 9 pm at Kentwood to have your voice heard.

Budget reductions are a necessity; however they should occur as far from the classroom as possible. Let the school board hear your voice through the survey and comments and let the community the real impacts of reductions on students at the April 12 meeting at Kentwood. 

Lisa Brackin Johnson, President

Kent Education Association

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3 Responses to “True Facts About the KSD Budget Survey”

  1. Steve Says:

    As a teacher in Auburn, let me give everyone some reference points…

    At this time last year in Auburn, we were told that 70+ teachers would be RIF’d. In the end, none were. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

    This year in Auburn, there has no word of any RIFs, due to budget contraints or otherwise. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

    As part of Administration budget reductions, every administrator took furlough days, and every principal took three furlough days. Those are days off without pay. Without pay. Without pay! Yes, every administrator took unpaid days off to help reduce expenses.

    Have there been cuts in Auburn?? Of course. In district transportation to ballgames. Fifth grade basketball. Middle school teaming time [not to be confused with planning time]. You’ll notice these are all cuts outside of the classroom.

    And some other middle school and high school positions like ASB and Athletic Directors were consolidated or had classroom time added, but no teachers lost jobs. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

    Come on, KSD!! You can do it!!

  2. Let Me Share Says:

    I believe all elem schools should utilize their non-classroom certificated staff to reach those students who need extra help because they are “bubble kids” or even the kids who are lower than “bubble”. I am not referring to the certificated staff that SOMETIMES pulls groups out of the classroom for 30-60 minutes per DAY– I mean CERTIFICATED staff who work with kids all day. Why? Because they have the credentials to do so, more than the paras who have to do such intense work all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I think the paras should keep their hours and still work with small groups, but it’s ironic to see the most qualified staff, actually helping the administration in buildings, do administrative duties. Shouldn’t these non-classroom certs be pulling at least 4-5 groups of students each day for 30 minutes each time? Won’t this help us, help the students reach their goals?

  3. Student Says:

    I find that once again I must speak in defense of the students of the Kent School District. This so-called survey… Why was there never any request for student oinput, or any question of what the students feel the system lack? We have a completely different perspective from many other groups in the KSD; there are the teachers and there are the administrators, but the whole system exists to support a third group: the students. Never has the KSD asked for our input. Never has an offer to provide input from a student’s perspective been met with anything other than disdain, antagonism, or general indifference. I do not speak of the pitiful attempts at protest such as the abortive “walk-out” held by a small number of students earlier this (school) year. I speak of honest, respectful advice given as an aid to administration in order to facilitate more effective programs and more lasting learning. This survey held by the KSD…. Why did no one ever tell the students about it? Why is our input- the opinions of those very people most critical to the educational process- not wanted by the KSD? Is it perhaps because we would disagree with their policies? Why were students not invited to attend this “budget meeting” at Kentwood?

    Is what the students need unimportant to district policy?

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